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image SM (100) 82/2/62

Reference number

SM (100) 82/2/62


Working drawing for an iron girder, April 1831


100 Section through an iron girder


State Paper Office and some dimensions given

Signed and dated

  • April 1831
    20 April 1831

Medium and dimensions

Pen, pink, yellow and grey washes, pricked for transfer on wove paper with four fold marks (564 x 494)


Soane Office, draughtsman
Soane office


Soane tried to minimise the use of combustible materials in the construction of the new State Paper Office so as to make the building more fire-proof (S. Palmer, 'Sir John Soane and the design of the new State Paper Office', Archivaria, 60, 2005, p. 56). Drawing 100 shows how the girders were constructed of two iron parts that were bolted to a central wooden joist - 'hardly a convincing fireproof design' (King's Works, VI, p. 570 n. 9). The girders were designed to reinforce the floors in the north part of the building which contained the library and to provide supports from which the hollow brick arches of the ceilings could spring. There is a wooden model for an iron girder made for the New State Paper Office in the Soane Museum (M654). See also drawings 105-111 and 142-145.



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

Sir John Soane's collection includes some 30,000 architectural, design and topographical drawings which is a very important resource for scholars worldwide. His was the first architect’s collection to attempt to preserve the best in design for the architectural profession in the future, and it did so by assembling as exemplars surviving drawings by great Renaissance masters and by the leading architects in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries and his near contemporaries such as Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam and George Dance the Younger. These drawings sit side by side with 9,000 drawings in Soane’s own hand or those of the pupils in his office, covering his early work as a student, his time in Italy and the drawings produced in the course of his architectural practice from 1780 until the 1830s.

Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).